YumSugar Community member smileyface just bought a slow cooker, and wrote in to ask us a burning question about it. If it's only designed for four quarts, she wondered, "how should I adjust recipes that call for a six-quart slow cooker?"
When selecting a slow cooker, the most important choice is deciding which size to buy. Six quarts or larger are ideal for a crowd, while a four-quart cooker is perfect for a family of four. Crockpot volume is extremely important because, to ensure food isn't either undercooked or burnt, appliances should be at least half but no more than two-thirds full. For this reason, most recipes will specify the size of slow cooker required.
If your slow cooker's smaller than the recipe's guidelines, I'd recommend adapting the recipe to fit your crockpot's size. In smileyface's instance, I suggest dividing the six-quart recipe by two thirds, or 0.66, to yield a recipe that her slow cooker can manageably contain. Likewise, an inverse calculation can be made to adapt a recipe for a larger slow cooker.